Events like World Water Day, Earth Day, Environmental Day and World Ocean's Day offer an excellent opportunity to celebrate and educate. We can teach students to be stewards of the environment. And we can teach them that standing up for nature means we're standing up for ourselves and our futures. We can connect climate change to racial, social, gender and economic inequities and encourage students to imagine a world where these inequities are eliminated for all people.
We see the effects of climate change every day, from poor air quality to boil water advisories for Indigenous communities, the impacts of mega oil infrastructure projects, the plastics pollution of our oceans and threats to both humans and wildlife. Climate change affects the social and environmental determinants of health in unequal ways. For example, extreme heat and natural disasters will affect the poor and most vulnerable first. Climate justice is about educating people about what civic engagement means.
Here are classroom ideas to mark important environmental days during the year along with resources and articles that ETFO has compiled on the issue of environment and climate justice.